Studio Policy

FEE STRUCTURES & BILLING PROCEDURES

Tuition is based on a yearly fee which is divided proportionally according to the length of each school Term. Invoices are sent out four times a year at the beginning of each Term, and cover that Term’s tuition costs.

Any additional, miscellaneous expenses will be added to the student’s account during the course of the Term.

ABSENT POLICY & PRIOR NOTIFICATION OF MISSED LESSONS

If a pupil is unable to attend a lesson, notification must be given before 7.30am on the morning of the lesson. Earlier notification would be appreciated.

If proper advance notification is provided, a lesson may be ‘made up’ during normal teaching hours (excluding weekends) provided a time is available within 3 weeks of the original scheduled lesson.

If the lesson can be ‘made up’ within this time, there will be no extra charge.

If 3 weeks have passed and the lesson was unable to be ‘made up’ due to the unavailability of lesson slots, or notification of a missed lesson is received after 7.30am on the morning of the lesson (or not at all), the lesson becomes forfeit.

So as not to disadvantage any students whose lessons fall on public holidays, 3 offers to make up the missed lesson will be made within the Term in which the holiday occurred.

If the ‘make up’ times are not taken advantage of, the lesson becomes forfeit. The ‘make up’ offers will not extend into the following Term.

Easter break, when it occurs during Term time, is a non-teaching period. Students affected will receive a credit for their missed lesson on the following Term’s invoice.

Senior students (years 11 to 13) who have external examination requirements at the end of Term 4 will receive a discount on the final Term’s account to accommodate these commitments.

If I am available, students who miss a lesson during the final two weeks of term and whose ‘make up’ lesson was not able to be scheduled during term time will receive one offer of a lesson during the holidays. If this is not taken advantage of, the lesson becomes forfeit.

If appropriate (for example, in the case of mild sickness), students are welcome to attend their normal lesson on-line. Please let me know prior to the lesson so I can prepare appropriately.

EXTRA LESSONS

Any additional lessons (such as lessons during holidays or extra lessons in preparation for exams) will be charged for at the ‘extra’ lesson rate.

Lesson Length

Extra Lesson Rate

30 Minutes

$34.00

40 Minutes

$45.50

50 Minutes

$56.50

60 Minutes

$68.00

* Please note that the ‘extra’ lesson rate is more than the Term lesson rate.

CANCELLED LESSONS

If I have to cancel a lesson due to ill health or unforeseen circumstances:

  • I will attempt to make the lesson up within normal teaching hours and within 3 weeks of the cancellation.
  • If a ‘make up’ lesson is not possible due to the unavailability of lesson slots, the lesson will be refunded and a discount will appear on the following Term’s account.
PANDEMIC TEACHING PROTOCOLS

Given that in-person lessons are not feasible with social distancing measures, and that students and I are within one meter of each other, I believe Piano Teaching meets the definition of a ‘close contact’ business. With that in mind, I am fully vaccinated and boosted.

In-Person Lessons under the Traffic Light Framework

I am happy to provide ‘in-person’ lessons at Green. At level Red, all lessons will be delivered via Skype.

In the middle level (Orange), decisions regarding in-person lessons will be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on the amount of community transmission. My decision to provide in-person lessons will be based on the Southern District Health Board’s 7-day rolling average of cases per 100,000 population. When this figure is 110 or below, in-person lessons will be offered for students who would like them. If the 7-day rolling average starts to trend upwards, a resumption of Skype-only lessons may be necessary for as long as the increased risk persists.

Wearing of Masks

The Covid Traffic Light Framework advises that even at the lowest level (Green), face coverings are encouraged indoors, so wearing masks by both myself, the student (and their parents if in attendance) will be a requirement for in-person lessons. Students are expected to have their own masks and be wearing them prior to entry to the Studio.

Vaccination Requirements

Given that the Vaccine Pass the Government has introduced is not being actively maintained, and those issued expire on the 1st of June, I am no longer requiring proof of vaccination from those who wish to attend lessons in person (when offered in accordance with the Traffic Light Framework policy above).

If the Vaccine Pass becomes a more useful tool (for example, by adding a requirement for a booster shot and extending out the expiry date) I will review whether this should again be a requirement for in-person lessons and entry into my Studio.

General Unwellness

Anyone who arrives for an in-person lesson and who is obviously unwell will not be permitted entry into the Studio. This is irrespective of vaccination status or wearing of masks. Students who are unwell should either reschedule their lesson (see Absent Policy above), or request a Skype lesson for that day.

SUSPENDING LESSONS FOR A TERM

Suspending lessons is not encouraged, but for various reasons (extended sickness etc.) does happen from time to time. I am happy to keep a lesson slot vacant for a Term so that a student can resume lessons in the following Term, but given the slot is not being permanently vacated, I can not use it to take a student off my waiting list. Consequently, the full-term fees will need to be paid in advance as per usual. The student is free to resume regular lessons at any point during the Term, but must provide one weeks’ notice of their intention to do so.

Any student who wishes to suspend lessons, but does not wish to pay the fees for the period of suspension will forfeit their “lesson slot” which will then be offered to those students on the waiting list. In such cases, the student will have priority access (for a period of 18 months) to any new permanent lesson times that become available so that they have the option to resume lessons at the earliest opportunity.

Suspensions for periods of longer than one Term will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

STUDENT LENDING LIBRARY POLICY

In order to enable students to have regular access to sight reading material (without having to purchase multiple books themselves) I maintain a library of piano scores for this purpose. 

  • A yearly hire fee of $20.00 per student will be added to the first Term’s account.
  • Students may have 2 books on loan at any one time.
  • Books are to be returned when requested and in the same condition in which they were lent.
  • Normal and reasonable wear and tear on a book is to be expected and will be taken into account. However, if a book in good condition is returned with substantial damage, or is lost, the student will be billed a fair and reasonable contribution towards the replacement of the book, taking into account such factors as age and condition.
  • Any books on loan when tuition is terminated are to be returned within 7 days of the final lesson, or an invoice will be sent.

I reserve the right to cease lending material to students who consistently lose books or return them in a less than satisfactory condition.

TECHNOLOGY ISSUES DURING ONLINE LESSONS

The Studio is set up with production quality equipment and gigabit internet access to reduce the risk of technology issues during a lesson. Students taking lessons online are expected to ensure that their equipment is available, fully charged (when not mains powered) and suitable for their lesson. However, from time to time issues outside our control will disrupt a lesson, and this policy is designed to address that situation.

  • A lesson will be deemed completed if more than half the lesson has been taught.
  • If a lesson can not be completed due to issues with Studio equipment, a replacement lesson will be scheduled. If that can not be provided within the Term, a credit will be applied to the following Term's invoice.
  • If a lesson can not be completed due to issues with the student's equipment, the lesson will be forfeited.
  • If the disruption is due to issues outside the control of either party, a replacement lesson will be scheduled.
  • Scheduled outages of electricity or internet are notified in advance. Both teacher and student are expected to let each other know in advance of the lesson if there is a planned outage, so that alternative arrangements can be made for that lesson. 
Changes to Policy

This document is reviewed annually, and generally will not change during a teaching year. It forms part of the "Terms of Tuition" contract which all students (or parents) must sign before commencing lessons.  However, I reserve the right to change this policy as necessary during the year, should circumstances arise that require an update. In those cases, I will provide a brief note below advising of any such changes made during the year.

Date

Reason for update

1/1/2022

Annual Update for 2022

24/4/22

Update to Pandemic Teaching Protocols


No More Updates